Alex was giving them the “polite-but-bored” smile that Olivia had seen a few times before, usually at the Christmas party or some other function where hounds like Trevor Langan vied for her attention. Even the woman’s half-smile was dazzling, though, evidenced by the admirers surrounding her as if waiting to carry her books home.
This was stupid, Olivia decided. It wasn’t like Alex had time to socialize. This is not about you, Olivia.
Still, she couldn’t bring herself to leave just yet, and a moment later the blonde’s gaze flickered across the room, her eyes widening as they landed on the detective. With an embarrassed smile, Olivia waved goodbye.
"Liv, wait!" Alex was practically running. When she was close enough, she grasped Olivia’s arm. "Oh, God, Olivia." She reached around her for a hug and then stepped back. "It’s so good to see you."
"Thank you for coming," Alex said sincerely.
"Oh, yeah." Olivia reached into her purse and presented a folded slip of paper.
"What–" Alex reached for it, then seemed to realize what it was. Without unfolding it, she shook her head. "That’s not what I meant." She pressed it into Olivia’s palm, leaving her own there. "You don’t have to do that. You already gave."
"Well, you know, those thank-you cards are the only mail I get besides bills." Actually, it was the only mail that meant anything to her. Every once in a while when she was missing her friend, Olivia yielded to childish temptation and opened the drawer to read the inscription again. Thank you, Liv – for everything. I love you. Alex. "It’s not much," she said. "I wish I could do more. Those TV ads must cost a fortune."